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EU faces "biggest test" since its founding amid coronavirus pandemic: Merkel

BERLIN (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) is facing the "biggest test since its foundation" due to the coronavirus pandemic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.

The pandemic has produced a "symmetrical shock" and all countries are "equally affected," Merkel said at a press conference at the Chancellery. There is a common interest in making certain that Europe "emerges strongly from this test," she said.

"Germany, too, will only be successful in the long term if Europe is doing well," noted Merkel. It was her first public appearance following her home quarantine after being in contact with a doctor who had tested positive for coronavirus.

Merkel stressed that Germany and Europe would have to develop their own production of protective equipment. "We must work hard" so that medical staff can be provided with protective equipment. Some German companies are already starting to produce protective masks.

In view of the social restrictions on daily life that are currently in effect in Germany, Merkel recalled it is important to ensure that the German health system is not overburdened.

She said that it was too early to give the all-clear. Last week, the German government had extended the restrictive anti-coronavirus measures until at least April 19.

(Latest Update April 7, 2020

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